Home > Legal Opinions tagged Ofsted

  • teachers' mental health – should we be worried?

    Dominic Buckley

    A recent poll has shown that over half (55%) of school staff feel that their job has a negative impact on their mental health - causing symptoms of stress, exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Large amounts of unpaid overtime, intense pressure to cope with Ofsted requirements and the perceived stigma attached to mental health issues all are […]

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  • give 'Requires Improvement' schools a chance

    Ofsted is offering new head teachers in schools ‘Requiring Improvement‘ (RI) more time to improve their school’s performance. This follows concerns that quality head teachers are reluctant to join RI schools knowing that Ofsted could come knocking for a section 5 inspection in less than two years in addition to numerous monitoring visits. While Ofsted […]

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  • are lesson observations a lottery?

    Richard Freeth

    A report by the think-tank Policy Exchange has suggested lesson observations undertaken as part of an Ofsted inspection are not a valid or reliable way of assessing teacher performance and is recommending that Ofsted inspections should be focussed on data. The report also criticises the level of outsourcing by Ofsted to independent companies to undertake […]

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  • Gove v Wilshaw – Round 2?

    Jamie Otter

    Whilst Policy Exchange is today calling for evolution rather than revolution in the way schools in England are inspected, their recommendations do contain some controversial elements. The think-tank’s main recommendation for a two tier form of inspection (with lighter, more regular inspections and less emphasis on examining teaching methods) will generally garner much support, particularly […]

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  • dress code and policy

    Debbie Stanley

    Ofsted are now focussing on making sure teachers are smartly dressed. So what should we be doing to manage this? The Teacher Standards expect teachers to act as positive role models and to lead by example and it is the role of school leaders to determine what this means in practice in your school. Don’t […]

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  • will FGM guidance be enough?

    Laura Richards

    It appears that Mr Gove has listened to the concerns about FGM and the role schools can play in tackling the issue. He has agreed to contact schools to highlight their duties in this area. ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ is expected by Easter and is set to include guidance on FGM. Although we will […]

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  • what does 2014 hold in store for UTCs?

    Hayley Roberts

    The Telegraph reports that the Duke of York is enthusiastic about the ‘UTC movement’ after opening a new University Technical College in Reading. However, only a few months ago it was revealed there is insufficient demand for UTC places. Should the programme expand rapidly over the next few years without waiting for the level of […]

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  • new FGM inquiry highlights key safeguarding issue for schools

    Katie Michelon

    An inquiry launched to examine the lack of prosecutions for female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK is expected to review the legal framework and consider how agencies, including the police , health and education sectors, share information regarding FGM cases. With an estimated 24,000 girls identified as at risk, FGM is an important safeguarding […]

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  • Ofsted plans surprise visits

    Hayley Roberts

    For most, the word ‘surprise’ brings to mind positive connotations, particularly at this time of year with the Christmas period fast approaching. However, the latest announcement that there will be ‘surprise’ Ofsted visits to schools in parts of the country that are ‘rife with poor behaviour’ is unlikely to spread much cheer amongst the leadership […]

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  • DFE going cool on UTCs?

    Jamie Otter

    The Daily Telegraph has reported that DfE is to delay the creation of dozens of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) because of concerns over their popularity with parents and poor ratings from Ofsted inspectors. UTCs are state schools run by charities, businesses and universities free of local council control. 17 UTCs have been set up to […]

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  • select committee join Ofsted posse in sponsor inspection standoff

    Jamie Otter

    The Education Select Committee have weighed into the ongoing debate between the DfE and Ofsted on whether organisations which sponsor academies should be inspected. Whilst Ofsted currently have the power to inspect the schools within an academy chain, there is no power to inspect the sponsor itself. The power to appoint and regulate academy sponsors […]

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  • free schools – more quality control required?

    Richard Freeth

    Reports show that the Shadow Education Minister has written to Michael Gove about how underperformance in free schools is monitored. The letter follows the well-publicised concerns about the Islamic free school in Derby which was temporarily closed during an Ofsted inspection. The result of that closure was that the pupils missed out on educational provision […]

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  • Religious Education is lagging behind....

    Monika Holyst

    A recent Ofsted report claims that over half of the school’s in England have displayed low standards, weak teaching and examination results when it comes to Religious Education (RE). The importance of RE risks becoming marginalised as the new English Baccalaureate excludes the subject from the five ‘core’ academic disciplines, ultimately discouraging pupils from sitting […]

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  • do Ofsted inspections work?

    Emma King

    A senior academic has criticised Ofsted’s methods. Professor Robert Coe, has commented that there is no evidence that lesson observations lead to valid Ofsted judgements. With variables such as; subject matter, time of day and students’ behaviour, Professor Coe has questioned the consistency of observation ratings, suggesting that busy students and an ordered classroom do […]

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  • careers guidance at what cost?

    Laura Richards

    A report carried out by Ofsted has triggered further criticism of the careers guidance being provided to young people. The Government introduced a duty on schools to provide independent and impartial careers advice and also issued statutory guidance for schools to have regard to. The change in legislation and current guidance reflected the Government’s desire […]

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  • Ofsted rigor – outstanding results?

    Richard Freeth

    The head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has reported that over the last year the number of schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted has risen at an unprecedented rate – up by 9% to 78%. The headline figure is however tarnished by the other figures that showed the number of schools rated as […]

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  • 118 new schools to increase choice

    Richard Freeth

    An additional 118 different varieties of school will open this September as part of the government’s plans to bring greater diversity to the education sector and, ultimately, to raise standards for all children and bridge the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”.  The majority of the new institutions opening will be free schools. A further […]

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  • GCSE results – its not all bad news

    Richard Freeth

    Given the recent headlines about falling GCSE pass rates, one school has been highlighted as an exemption. Perry Beeches School in Birmingham has increased its pass rate for the seventh year running and all pupils gained at least 5 GCSEs with A-C grades and 80% included English and Maths. The results are seen as exceptional […]

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  • colleges making an impact

    Laura Richards

    Last year FE Colleges faced criticism from Ofsted particularly around their vocational emphasis and failure to meet the needs of their students. However, new figures show that the FE sector is making wide-scale improvements in performance and that Colleges are even outperforming secondary schools in terms of inspection results. Comparison to secondary school performance is […]

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  • free schools make the grade

    Hayley Roberts

    The first wave of 24 free schools, which opened in 2011, have now all been inspected under the new Ofsted framework. Of the 24, 18 were rated either good or outstanding (75%), 5 require improvement and 1 was rated inadequate. The breakdown in categories is roughly in line with other state schools. Critics have commented […]

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